Biden comparing Trump to Herbert Hoover a ‘cheap shot’, descendant says | Joe Biden

Biden comparing Trump to Herbert Hoover a ‘cheap shot’, descendant says | Joe Biden

Joe Biden is taking a “cheap shot” whenever he gleefully compares Donald Trump to Herbert Hoover, a prominent political commentator said, defending the 31st president whose single term in office coincided with the Great Depression.

“It’s such a cheap shot,” Margaret Hoover, the president’s great-granddaughter and a commentator for CNN and PBS, told Politico. “If a person spent a minute studying Herbert Hoover’s contributions, one would come to see that these political jabs have obscured a shining example of an uncommon public servant.”

Hoover was a mining engineer before entering government and earning the nickname “the Great Humanitarian”, for his work to keep allied nations fed during the first world war. A Republican, he decisively defeated the New York governor Al Smith to win the White House in 1928.

According to the White House website, Hoover’s “opponents in Congress … unfairly painted him as a callous and cruel president” as he sought to cope with the global economic catastrophe that struck less than a year after the start of his term.

Margaret Hoover was also accusing Trump of using her ancestor’s name in vain.

Last month, Trump said he hoped the US economy would crash “during this next 12 months” – before his seemingly inevitable election rematch with Biden – “because I don’t want to be Herbert Hoover. The one president I just don’t want to be, Herbert Hoover.”

Biden, who had already compared Trump to Hoover, seized on Trump’s remark, saying in social media video: “He doesn’t want to be Herbert Hoover. He has to understand, he’s already Herbert Hoover. He’s the only other president who lost jobs during his term.”

Trump’s time in office, between 2017 and 2021, ended in the chaos of Covid, a pandemic that battered the global economy.

Biden, Politico pointed out, has used the Hoover comparison repeatedly.

Margaret Hoover said: “I will personally offer either Donald Trump or Joe Biden – or any elected official of either party – a tour of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum [in West Branch, Iowa]. This is an open invitation.”

Politico found other Hoover defenders including the historian George Nash, who said: “You don’t expect most political figures to have deep knowledge of these matters so [Biden and Trump] are looking for quick stereotypes to invoke. These are very superficial statements that both individuals have made.”

Lauren Hitt, a Biden campaign spokesperson, apologised “for any undue pain we caused Herbert Hoover by lumping him in with Donald Trump. While they do share the worst jobs record in American history, Hoover never said he wanted the economy to crash to improve his own political fortune – an important distinction.”

In its latest ranking of US presidents, issued in 2022, the Siena College Research Institute places Hoover 37th out of 45. The 141 presidential scholars behind the list put Trump six places lower, ahead of only James Buchanan, who failed to stop the civil war, and Andrew Johnson, the first president ever impeached. Not having completed a term in office, Biden does not yet place.

According to Siena, the best president is Franklin D Roosevelt, Hoover’s successor who steered the US through the Depression and the second world war, and who Biden has claimed as an inspiration for his work in succession to Covid and Trump.

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